Deliverable 9.7: ROUTES – Review of radioanalytical characterisation of selected radioactive wastes and wastes with complex chemical and toxic properties - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Reports Year : 2023

Deliverable 9.7: ROUTES – Review of radioanalytical characterisation of selected radioactive wastes and wastes with complex chemical and toxic properties


Radioanalytical characterisation is a vital part of the waste management route for radioactive wastes. It ensures the compliance with waste acceptance criteria for interim storage, long-term storage and final disposal and therefore contributes to the safe handling of radioactive waste. The objective of this deliverable is a comprehensive description of radioanalytical characterisation, including • the identification of characterisation techniques, • the comparison of characterisation methods applied for the same waste in different countries, • the analysis of existing approaches and identification of knowledge gaps, as well as • to give recommendations both for future research and development (R&D) tackling the identified knowledge gaps and for characterisation approaches for countries with non-developed waste management concepts. The first part of this deliverable describes the motivation and criteria for radioanalytical characterisation of waste by analysing the countries regulations, the distribution of responsibilities, as well as the motivation and techniques for characterisation. This section shows, that the majority of the participating member states (MS) of this deliverable have individual national regulations in place or have regulations based on Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom. In approx. 2/3 of the countries the respective waste owner is responsible for the characterisation of waste, while approx. 1/3 of the countries have assigned this task to national organisations. In general, the motivation for characterisation cited by the participating MS with implemented regulations is the verification of compliance with legal regulations or waste acceptance criteria (WAC), utilising a combination of non-destructive and destructive methods, as well as numerical models and scaling factors. The second part of this deliverable presents identified radioanalytical characterisation approaches for six selected waste types: graphite, sludge, organic waste, spent ion exchange resins (SIERs), U/Ra/Th bearing waste and decommissioning waste. The radionuclide inventory of waste is highly dependent on waste type, such as graphite or spent ion exchange resins (SIERs), but also on the waste history or generation. Relevant for the selection of radioanalytical characterisation methods is moreover the physical and chemical form of the waste, such as liquid or solid, untreated or treated, or, non-conditioned or conditioned. This part identifies applied characterisation techniques specific for the selected waste types. Additionally, for the selected waste types, different characterisation approaches currently applied in different countries contributing to this deliverable are outlined. In the third part, the different radioanalytical characterisation approaches and common issues are analysed waste type specific. Amalgamated, common issues for all addressed waste types are representative sampling and legislative challenges, such as missing WAC. For graphite, additional challenges in identifying disposal options arise from the 36Cl content. For sludge, additional challenges arise from chemical properties such as reactivity, inflammability or gas generation, as well as big volumes of this waste type from oil- and gas-industries. A SIERs specific challenge is the gas generation due to radiolysis, as well as the determination of 226Ra and 232Th inventory of non-conditioned mixed waste containing SIERs. For U/Ra/Th bearing wastes, the variety of waste types containing is one of the challenges associated with it. Another issue is the large volume of U/Ra/Th bearing wastes, especially from non-nuclear facilities and the monitoring of 222Rn release, especially for open pit storage of uranium mining tailings. As waste from decommissioning is a broad category, only general issues have been mentioned by participating countries. One specific challenge for decommissioning waste is the reduction of waste volume classified as low-level waste (LLW) and very low-level waste (VLLW) and increase the volume classified as exempted waste. From the analysed issues, still existing knowledge gaps are derived and recommendations for future R&D to close identified knowledge gaps given. The origin of most identified characterisation issues are of financial or legislative nature, but also characterisation issues based on missing input from research and development have been identified. Regarding the recommendations for future R&D activities, a common similarity of most waste addressed types is the representative sampling and improvement as well as validation of scaling factors. In the last part, means of providing an efficient transfer of knowledge and experience to countries without mature waste disposal concepts and recommendations for the selection of applicable radioanalytical characterisation methods, e.g., for small inventory member states (SIMS) are given. For these countries, recommended non-destructive methods are the dosimetry and the gamma spectrometry. As destructive method, only liquid scintillation counters are recommended by task participants. Stated reasons for not recommending a specific technology are based on the costs of equipment, maintenance, specific knowhow needed to operate the equipment, as well as limited applicability of the technology. The obstacles for SIMS on radioanalytical characterisation can be condensed to two main reasons: Availability of know-how and availability of equipment. Therefore, three actions will be recommended: • Development of a guide on radioanalytical characterisation dedicated to SIMS • Knowledge transfer program on technology application • Research project on the development of a mobile facility for characterisation
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
EURAD - D9.7 Review of radioanalytical characterisation of selected radioactive wastes and wastes with complex chemical and toxic properties.pdf (685.96 Ko) Télécharger le fichier
Origin Files produced by the author(s)
Public Domain

Dates and versions

hal-04115898 , version 1 (02-06-2023)


Public Domain


  • HAL Id : hal-04115898 , version 1


M.C. Bornhoeft, J. Gascon, Lucie Millot, I. Paiva, Joao Alves, et al.. Deliverable 9.7: ROUTES – Review of radioanalytical characterisation of selected radioactive wastes and wastes with complex chemical and toxic properties. EURAD. 2023. ⟨hal-04115898⟩
50 View
71 Download


Gmail Mastodon Facebook X LinkedIn More